Running back Saquon Barkley has signed his franchise tag with the New York Giants, the team announced Tuesday.
The deal is a one-year, adjusted exclusive tag worth $10.1 million fully guaranteed and up to $11 million in incentives, sources told ESPN. The tag was adjusted to add a $2 million signing bonus as well as incentives, the sources said.
The $909,000 in incentives includes an equal amount paid for three categories: 1,350 rushing yards and a playoff berth, 11 touchdowns and 65 receptions, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The deal does not include a “no franchise tag” clause, sources told ESPN, meaning the Giants could tag him again after this season. That’s something Barkley and his team were hoping to get.
That was a big omission from Barkley to report on the first day of training camp for the veterans. The Pro Bowl running back was already in the building before 8 a.m. ET Tuesday, a source told ESPN.
Showing up on the first day of camp alongside his teammates reinforces the perception that Barkley is a first-team player. It will limit the questions and drama that surely would have clouded Giants camp had he not reported.
Barkley said during a recent appearance on “The Money Matters” podcast that he may consider sitting out this season amid his deadlock with the team over a long-term contract. He said at his AMPT football camp last month that sitting out the season would be “part of the conversation” if no long-term deal was in place.
The Giants and Barkley did not agree to a deal before the deadline for franchise players to agree to long-term contracts, meaning he would have to play this season under the $10.091 million franchise tender.
But the rules allow players in this situation to negotiate a regulated one-year contract. It is an option that is rarely used.
Barkley, 26, did not sign the franchise tag tender this spring or summer and was not allowed in the team facility as a result of the rules. He wasn’t expected in training camp this summer unless he had at least one deal changed.
Barkley finished fourth in the NFL with a career-high 1,312 yards last season, ran for 10 touchdowns and tied for the team lead with 57 receptions. He has played in 60 career games over five seasons since being the No. 1 overall pick. 2 overall draft in 2018, when he was named Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The Giants and Barkley had been working for nine months to reach an agreement on a deal. It was a bumpy road to get down to this temporary solution.
Barkley was not happy with the way the negotiations were being portrayed. He thought the details being reported at length made him look “greedy”.
While some of the deals that were offered were as high as $13-14 million per season, Barkley didn’t find them to be enough in terms of guaranteed money and structure, sources told ESPN. It created a stalemate.
The Giants and Barkley didn’t make much progress from signing quarterback Daniel Jones in March (which allowed the tag to be used on Barkley) to just days before the mid-July deadline to reach a long-term deal. Barkley even added a new agent, Ed Perry of CAA, to speed up the process.
In the moments before the deadline, the two sides were believed to be about $2 million apart, according to sources.